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text 2018-09-20 08:27
Reading progress update: I've read 65%. - surprising - I've no idea where this is going
Huntress Moon - Alexandra Sokoloff

What started as a competent-dedicated-so-deeply-male-he's-unaware-of-it FBI agent hunting bad guys has become something more original and more interesting.

 

Twisting itself around the story of the male hunter, like ivy on a tree, is the story of a deadly, driven woman who kills men, sometimes subtly, sometimes with a great deal of blood and keeps moving.

 

She's fascinating. I want to know why she does what she does.

 

I also want to see what Special Agent I'm-so-straight-I'd-break-rather-than-bend will do when he finds out.

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quote 2018-09-20 07:39
“I don’t know how, after all this time, you can't tell us apart. I’m the better lookin’ brother. It’s obvious.”
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review 2018-09-20 06:38
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
The Princess Bride: An Illustrated Edition of S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure - William Goldman,Michael Manomivibul

I did not think I would have to start this review with a trigger warning, of all books, but here we are. Trigger Warning: Suicide (There is a line in this that really rubbed me the wrong way.) Fat shaming a child.

---

 

About the suicide, the line is "She had never seriously contemplated suicide before. Oh, of course she’d thought about it; every girl does from time to time. But never seriously. To her quiet surprise, she found it was going to be the easiest thing in the world."

 

Every girl does? What is that even supposed to mean? This line makes suicide sound like a silly fad, a phase that "every" girl goes through, but only when she is feeling emotional.

Every few chapters, the author, William Goldman (who is pretending not to be the author) breaks the fourth wall and talks about his life and why he cut this and that from the "original" novel. In a lot of these fourth wall breaking segments, he talks about his "fat" son and "cold" wife, he even talks about almost being tempted to cheat on his wife. I get that he is trying to go for a style and pass this novel off as something some great S. Morgenstern wrote, but what is the point in talking so horrible about your son and wife? Is that really how you treated your family? Please tell me those parts were fiction, too.

I skipped the last part "Buttercup's Baby." So in that sense, I DNF'd this book. This is a rare case where the movie is better. Oh sure, I liked this book. It had the same heart as the movie, but Goldman's interruptions really ruined my enjoyment. I don't think I want to read anything else by him.

Don't fat shame your children, please. Don't body shame, in general! This line comes from the book: "Oh. Daddy, I'm ugly and I've got no friends and all the girls laugh at me and make fun because I'm so fat."
I had to blink back tears myself -- because it was all true, y'see." (Goldman talking to his son.) Why is this even relevant to The Princess Bride? I don't get it! This is gross. Just gross.

I have a bad relationship with food because all through my childhood, my stepdad mocked my weight, doctors put me on diet pills at 16...etc. Guess what, I look back and I wasn't even obese, bigger than the average kid my age, maybe, but not big enough for diet pills, or big enough to "diet". What is "too big" and what is normal? As a child, I shouldn't have been thinking I was wrong because I had a few more pounds than other classmates. Now I'm an adult with body image issues, weight "problems", depression, anxiety and I always put myself down, hate on myself.

Thinness does not equal happiness. Fatness does not equal sadness. Goldman said that now his son is ripped and gorgeous and now he is popular. What kind of message does this send to anyone?

Also, I want to point out, I did not really care about the way Fezzik is treated as not smart just because he is a large guy.

Sorry I went on a rant here.

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review 2018-09-20 05:22
The Lemonade Crime (audiobook) by Jacqueline Davies, narrated by Stina Nielson
The Lemonade Crime: Lemonade Series, Book 2 (MP3 Book) - Jacqueline Davies,Suzy Jackson

Evan and his little sister Jessie are both in the fourth grade, not because they're twins, but rather because Jessie skipped a grade. Jessie is particularly good at math, very focused, feels strongly that things should be fair, and believes that rules are meant to be followed.

When one of their classmates, Scott, announces that he now owns a fancy new Xbox 2020, Evan sees red. He knows exactly where Scott got the money for it - Scott stole that money, over two hundred dollars, from Evan's shorts when they were swimming at a friend's house. Evan doesn't have any proof that Scott did it, but it's the only explanation. Then Jessie comes up with a plan: she's going to bring the truth to light in a court of law created by her and her classmates.

I checked this out from my library's Overdrive without realizing that the library owned the first book in audio as well, or I'd have started with the first book instead. It looks like I'll be listening to this series out of order.

And I do plan on listening to the first book. I enjoyed this second book in the series more than I expected to, considering that Middle Grade fiction usually reads too young for me (yes, I know that's the point - I'm not the intended audience for these books and I realize that). Jessie and Evan were great characters, both flawed in their own ways but still good kids.

Jessie didn't quite feel like she fit in. I sympathized with her trouble figuring out where to hang out during recess (or was it lunch? I can't remember). The way she really got into her courtroom plan reminded me a bit of myself. I could imagine her tossing and turning in bed, unable to stop thinking about all the things she still needed to do before the trial. She'd taken on the responsibility of both setting up as realistic a trial as possible and acting as Evan's lawyer.

Evan was really into basketball and had a bit of a crush on one of his classmates, Megan, who was also his sister's friend. I hated the way Evan acted in one particular scene, but the good thing was that he hated how he'd acted too, once it was all over, and took the time to try to do something about it.

This ended in a way that was more peaceful and friendly than I expected, and I liked the layers it added to the characters.

The peeks at Scott's home life hinted at his motives, even if Evan couldn't see them, and I'm looking forward to finding out character information I missed by skipping the first book.

(spoiler show)


One nice detail: each chapter began with a definition of a term or phrase relating to courtroom proceedings (for example, "perjury"). Usually it was something illustrated by a character's words or actions in that particular chapter.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2018-09-20 04:49
Review: Jungle Green (The Balcom Dynasty Book 2) by Richard Dee
Jungle Green (The Balcom Dynasty Book 2) - Richard Dee

Independently published (6th June 2018)

 

ISBN: 978-1983052606

 

Rating: 5*

 

Synopsis: 

TC is the wonder drug. Manufactured in secrecy on a remote planet at the edge of the galaxy, it makes worlds inhabitable; and Balcom Industrial lots of money. Then, suddenly, the people who need to take it to stay alive start to die! For Layla Balcom, fresh from wresting control of her father’s inheritance from those who would have destroyed it, the news is devastating. Can the drug be flawed? Or is something else going on?  

 

Review:

I very much enjoyed Ribbonworld, the first book in The Balcom Dynasty when I devoured it in virtually one sitting last year, so Jungle Green was an eagerly anticipated read for me. It was a real pleasure to catch up with Miles Goram again, the central character and unlikely hero of Ribbonworld.

 

The story piqued my curiosity from the off, the author laying a trail of breadcrumbs but there's no hand holding and leading you from one clue to the next; some things you need to work out for yourself! The plot is interesting and cast of characters varied and well rounded - some seemingly lovely, others hateful! 

 

Richard Dee has a wonderful way of weaving a way with words, he's a masterful storyteller and I suspect he doesn't even realise this. When I'm reading one of his books, regardless of genre, I'm utterly transfixed and lose all track of time. There could be a monsoon (or anything else) going on outside, I really wouldn't have the faintest idea! I am really pleased to see a prequel is forthcoming, I can't wait to read that! 

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